Six Tips on How to Negotiate a Higher Salary in 2016, by Wendi Lalli

For job hunters – whether they are still currently employed or in transition between jobs – this time of year often seems to energize a job search and prompt hopes of earning more in a new position. Yet even those who are successful in getting a job offer can still fall short when it comes to negotiating salary. Why? There are many reasons. Perhaps applicants aren’t sure what the going rate is for the job and assume salaries are set in stone. On the other hand, maybe they feel they’re not as well educated or as experienced as they might be and, even though they’ve been hired, are reluctant to demand more money. Whatever their reason for not negotiating their starting salary, they’re putting themselves at risk.

Your starting salary influences what you’ll be paid for the rest of your life.

Think about it. Your past salary is used by employers to determine how much they should offer you to take a new position. If you tell a hiring manager your last job paid less than the one you’re interviewing for, they’ll probably offer you less than they would another applicant. What’s more, the fact that your previous employer paid you so little, might knock you out of consideration all together. It isn’t just about money. It’s about how much your work is valued.

Your bonuses, raises, future salary with other companies, social security, pension payments – even unemployment – are all dependent on how much your paycheck is right now. It isn’t just about money. It’s about your income for the rest of your life.

When it comes to salaries, here are six things you should know.

  1. There are salary standards for every job and you should learn what they are before you apply.

Of course, some companies pay more than others do for the same position, but there is still a generally accepted salary range for each job in every industry. You should learn what this range is BEFORE you even submit your application. Check out salaries on sites like to get an idea of what the job you’re applying for should pay.

  1. Asking about salary before you’re offered the job is a very BAD idea.

Until a hiring manager has said, “we’d like you to come work here,” the company has more power than you do. But once an offer is made, you’re at least on an even playing field. Trying to discuss salary before then not only won’t help you it will definitely hurt you. It implies that you are more interested in your own compensation, than the job itself or the contribution you can make to the company’s success. At that point, if you haven’t completely knocked yourself out of the running, you’ve definitely put yourself behind.

  1. Salaries are almost always negotiable.

Companies develop a salary range for every job based on what the employee does and how much other employers are willing to pay for that work. Obviously, well-run companies try to keep salaries toward the bottom of that range. But they are almost always prepared to go higher – and will do so if the candidate asks for it.

  1. Compensation can be given in other forms than a paycheck.

Your salary is usually only part of what it costs a company to hire you. If they absolutely cannot budge on your paycheck, but you think you should be paid more, try asking for another week in paid vacation time or help with tuition or student loan payments. If you want the job and they want you, accommodations can be made.

  1. You could get a raise within six months.

If the company gives raises based on annual reviews, ask to have a salary review in six months instead of 12. Keep a paper/digital record of all your accomplishments and how much you’ve helped the company earn and save in costs, time and labor during that period. Also list any extra benefits you’ve provided your employer during that time – such as training other people, giving them business leads, joining a professional association, etc. Be specific. Use accurate numbers and, whenever possible, include documentation from a third party such as a memo congratulating you on contributing to the company’s growth or thank you note from a satisfied client.

  1. You should never accept a job offer immediately

What every job candidate should say upon getting an offer is, “I’d like to think about this and get back to you.” Then take at least 24 hours to consider all their options and research the salary for that job in the current market. At that point, you’re ready to contact the hiring manager and say, “I’m very grateful for your offer, but given my experience and the market, I think my salary should be higher. What can you do for me?” This is actually what hiring managers expect candidates to do. Taking this step during the interview process is just meeting the company’s expectations of how a professional behaves. When candidates don’t negotiate, hiring managers may start wondering if they made the best choice after all. Negotiating salary isn’t just about money; it’s about being a professional in every aspect of your career.

lalli_croppedWendy Lalli is CD of Crux Creative, a marketing agency with offices in Chicago and Wisconsin. She also mentors other marketing professionals in transition and wrote on job search for the Chicago Tribune and 25 newspapers in the Chicago Sun Times network. Wendy has been the Communications Coordinator of the Equal Pay Day Chicago events since 2012.

Zain Raj, President & CEO, Shapiro + Raj to Speak at BrandSmart 2016

BrandSmart 2016

PRESENTATION: Marketing for Tomorrow, Starting Today

BIO: A visionary leader, business accelerator, investor, philanthropist and industry futurist, Zain Raj is combining innovation and creativity to create new business models for the future. Zain is the President & CEO of Shapiro+Raj, a top-ten independent insights and inspiration company in North America. Zain is also the founder and CEO of zednext, an ideas incubator that takes an objective and disruptive look at trends to help marketers and business leaders realize their full potential in data-driven, digitally led and insights-driven world.

Most recently he was CEO of Epsilon Agency Services (EAS), the largest global CRM and Digital agency. He was previously CEO of Euro RSCG Discovery, as well as the agency’s global practice leader of retail brands. He has also held senior leadership roles at FCB Worldwide, JWT and Grey.

Zain is author of Brand Rituals™: How Successful Brands Bond with Customers for Life and Marketing For Tomorrow, Not Yesterday, both Amazon marketing and sales bestsellers, that posit new approaches for building brands in today’s hyper-complex environment. He is a sought-after speaker on how marketers can build their businesses and improve their brand value in this evolving landscape of big-data, mobility, digitization and commoditization. He passionately espouses the view that marketing needs to change people’s behavior not just attitudes. And, brands need to forge strong relationships with their core customers by solving real problems in a meaningful yet distinct way.

An evangelist for innovation and strong believer in empowering others, Zain has contributed his insights to The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fast Company, Forbes, Crain’s and publications of the nation’s top business schools.  Zain is a member of the Executive’s Club of Chicago. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for a number of technology companies, Junior Achievement and TiE Midwest.


All Attendees Receive a Copy of:

Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday – Surviving and Thriving in the Insight Economy™, by Zain Raj.
From Midwest Book Review:

“Impressively well written, exceptionally well organized and presented, “Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday” is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. As practical as it is ‘reader friendly’ from beginning to end, “Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday” is very highly and very useful reading for entrepreneurs and business managers alike. Indeed, “Marketing for Tomorrow, Not Yesterday” is strongly recommended for corporate, community, and academic library Business Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.”

Ron Bess, Former President North America, Havas Worldwide to Speak at BrandSmart 2016

BrandSmart 2016

PRESENTATION: Marketing for Tomorrow, Starting Today

BIO: Leadership.  Innovation.  Collaboration.  Growth.

Ron Bess built his career on these four pillars, resulting in notable success for his clients and his agencies.

Ron is a brand builder and an agency builder.  He has turned around ailing agencies, made good agencies better, led record growth on well-known brands and introduced new products that became category leaders.

He is an innovative agency architect who believes in the power of collaboration. He consistently finds a way to bring together top talent from across disciplines to form cohesive teams.  He has moved beyond the “integrated” model of the past to a more cohesive and collaborative “unified” approach, which he has shown can be the model for the future.

Ron got his start at Foote Cone & Belding in Chicago working on CPG brands. He then joined what is now DDB Chicago and, at a very young age, led clients like McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch and General Mills during a time of the best share growth in their histories.  He then started his own agency, Bayer Bess Vanderwarker, which became the fastest growing new agency in Chicago and AdWeek’s Agency of the Year. Bayer Bess attracted clients including Quaker, Campbell’s, AT&T, and Motorola. It built the Gatorade brand from its infancy into a multi-billion new category with advertising that had athletes of every age wanting to
“Be Like Mike”.

Ron sold his agency to FCB and soon became President of FCB Worldwide.  He quickly led the Chicago office to the best growth year in its history and AdWeek’s Agency of the Year. Then he led FCB into new growth opportunities with acquisitions in digital, promotion and PR. Next he moved to New York as Global CEO of the Y&R Group of Diversified Agencies which included category-leading companies Burson-Marstellar (PR), Landor (Brand Consulting), Sudler & Hennessey (Healthcare Strategy) among others.

Ron returned to Chicago to be CEO of Havas Chicago and President of North America for the Havas Global Network.  Ron led Chicago from the brink of extinction to dramatic growth using his unified business model that put advertising, digital, direct, media and data under one management team and one culture. His unified model led to a series of significant new business wins vs. competitors who were pure play vertical leaders. Havas Chicago became the Havas Agency of the Year and the Havas Network’s model for the future. As President of North America he reorganized the region for the digital age and consolidated 20+ operating units into 6 more unified and collaborative companies. Double-digit growth closely followed that change.

Today Ron is a Consultant to several young agencies where his experience helps CEOs with their strategic planning. He is known for his problem-solving philosophy: “Face it. Figure It Out. Fix It”.

In addition, Ron is Chairman of the Chicago Agency Community Board of the 4As, a group he created by bringing together a cross section of 25 advertising, media, digital, public relations and marketing services agencies. The goal of the organization is to make Chicago a preferred destination for top young talent.

Ron has undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Business from the University of Illinois, where he was also captain of the football team.